Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Beach Reads

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish, and I decided to share my list with all of you also!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is Top Ten Beach Reads I Plan On Reading This Summer! While I don’t think I will be on a beach this summer (boo), I do have lots of books I plan on reading this summer! I can just pretend that my bed is made up of sand, right?

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1. Even If The Sky Falls by Mia Garcia

New Orleans, during a hurricane? Sign me up!

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2. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I was so in love with Since You’ve Been Gone that I immediately added this beauty to my TBR!

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3. Cure For The Common Universe by Christian McKay Heidicker

I’m all about that geeky, nerdy love!

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4. The Geek’s Guide To Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash

Gimme, gimme more!

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5. Down With The Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Wishes gone wrong? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Yet, a wonderful book to read!

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6. Stone Field by Christy Lenzi

Historical fiction and romance? What more can a girl ask for?

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7. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows

This historical fiction is supposedly quite comical. I’ll never turn down a book that can make me laugh!

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8. A Season of Fireflies by Rebecca Maizel

I adored Between Us and the Moon so I just have to read Rebecca’s new book this summer!

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9. The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

Doctor Who references? Say no more.

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10. Little Women by Louise May Alcott

I have been meaning to read this book for forever and gosh darn, I WILL read it this summer!

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Waiting on Wednesday: Flashfall by Jenny Moyer

This is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine.  “Waiting on Wednesday” spotlights upcoming releases that I’m eagerly anticipating.

Title: Flashfall

Author: Jenny Moyer

Publication Date: November 15, 2016

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Synopsis:

Orion is a Subpar, expected to mine the tunnels of Outpost Five, near the deadly flash curtain. For generations, her people have chased cirium—the only element that can shield humanity from the curtain’s radioactive particles. She and her caving partner, Dram work the most treacherous tunnel, fighting past flash bats and tunnel gulls, in hopes of mining enough cirium to earn their way into the protected city.

But when newcomers arrive at Outpost Five, Orion uncovers disturbing revelations that make her question everything she thought she knew about life on both sides of the cirium shield. As conditions at the outpost grow increasingly dangerous, it’s up to Orion to forge a way past the flashfall, beyond all boundaries, beyond the world as she knows it.

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publication: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Review

When Kaz is approached by a very rich merchant, he is offered a job he cannot resist. With the money that is offered to him, he could do whatever he wanted, become whoever he wanted. In order to successfully accomplish this mission, he will need the perfect gang. A gang made up of thugs and thieves.

Each character in this story is so unique. Kaz, the leader of the group, is mysterious and smart. He has learned how to survive on the streets and has proved himself to be an invaluable asset to one of the streets most notorious gangs, The Dregs. Inej was once a slave at an exotic brothel until Kaz discovered her for her skills of creeping and spying. Jesper is Kaz’s second and a sharpshoot with a special love for his guns and gambling. Nina is a Heartrender who is capable of killing someone with a clench of her fists. Matthias is a murder and a convict who has quite the history with killing those who possess magic. Wylan is the son of a rich merchant who doesn’t possess any street skills, but does bring his very own set of skills to the group.

It took me a long time to get into this book. The first half of this book felt quite lengthy and drawn out. There is no shortage of backgrounds and buildup to the action in this book. Nevertheless, I journeyed on because this book has such wonderful reviews.  It is not until the second half of the book that my interest was seriously peaked. The plot was beginning to thicken and the action was picking up.

I haven’t read The Grisha trilogy, so maybe I do not appreciate this book as much as others who have read the trilogy. In the beginning, I felt like there was a dump of information and I wasn’t sure what to do with all of it. However, even though this book didn’t completely live up to my expectations (blame it on the hype), I will absolutely be reading the sequel. I also plan on reading The Grisha Trilogy as well. I wanted so badly for this book to be a five star read, but it ended up a four star read. Four stars is not bad by any means, I was just hoping for that special spark that give star reads have for me.

4 out of 5 stars


Meet The Author

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Leigh Bardugo is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Grisha Trilogy (Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she’s lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band. Her new book, Six of Crows, arrives fall 2015.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and her website.

Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

 

22752127Title: The Serpent King

Author: Jeff Zentner

Publication Date: March 8, 2016

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House

Synopsis: Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

Review

Told from a three person point of view, The Serpent King follows the story of three teenagers. Dill is the son of a pastor that has been incarcerated for his heinous crimes. Dill has been left to deal with the repercussions of his father’s sins. Lydia is a semi-famous fashion blogger with loving and caring parents. She cannot wait to get out of her small town and start fashion school. Travis is a book nerd with a huge heart. He is secretly dealing with living inside a horrible home.

These three characters are the most realistic and developed characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Even though they had their flaws, they have become one of my favorite group of misfit friends to ever have existed. There is nothing more wonderful than a group of friends who genuinely care for each other and who go out of each other’s way to make their friends happy and cared for.

I feel like this book came out of nowhere. I had never heard of this book and all of a sudden, I am seeing this book everywhere I go…and for good reason. The Serpent King took my breath away and swept me off my feet. Never have I ever come so close to actually crying over a book… Never have I been so heartbroken and so fill to the brim with love over a book. This book is about love, loss, religion, overcoming, and most importantly, friendship. This book was so much better than I had anticipated and I truly believe that everyone should give this book a chance. And you ask, “What makes this contemporary novel different than the thousands out there?” The Serpent King will stand out from the rest because of heart and pure, raw talent.

5 out of 5 stars


Meet The Author

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Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.

He speaks fluent Portuguese, having lived in the Amazon region of Brazil for two years.

You can find him on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and his website.

Blog Tour: Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins – Review

Summer Days GIFTitle: Summer Days and Summer Nights

Editor: Stephanie Perkins

Publication Date: May 17, 2016

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Book Depository

Review

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo

I just finished the first book I have ever read by Leigh, Six of Crows, so I was very excited to read this story. This story starts out with a girl witnessing something she cannot explain. She goes to the local Dairy Queen for answers and ends up finding love.

The End of Love by Nina LaCour

A quick and sweet romance that involves geometry and camping. There is a family conflict that is lightly discussed, but I do wish it dug a little deeper.

Last Stand at the Cinegor by Libba Bray

An old theatre that plays horror films and scary creatures are involved. I actually did not finish this one because I am a wimp and I don’t do scary.

Sick Pleasures: For A and U by Francesca Lia Block

Everyone’s names in this story is a letter. This caused me a bit of confusion and I have some trouble remembering who was who.

In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins

A girl is attempting to convince her ex-boyfriend to move in with her. This story about second chance love was absolutely adorable and I loved it.

Souvenirs by Tim Federle

This story takes place in an amusement park. This particular couple has a planned break up date and today is that day. I would have enjoyed this couple except for the fact that I thought one of the characters in this story was a bit awful.

Inertia by Veronica Roth

There is a intriguing sic-fi element to this story and I really enjoyed it. Before people die, hospital’s allow the dying person a last visitation. Their conscious and someone else’s conscious can be linked and they can share time together before one dies.

Love Is The Last Resort by Jon Skovron

This story is set at a resort and told in such a unique way. The characters were fun and quirky and I could not stop smiling the entire time I read this one.

Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert

The main character in this story is having trouble with he fact that her cousin, the only person who has ever “got” her, is moving across the country.

Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare

This story is about a young girl who lives and travels with a dark circus troupe. This one had some more scary creatures in it so I just couldn’t go on.

A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith

I am a fan of Jennifer Smith (who isn’t) and this story was a classic Smith story. Cute, sweet, and just right.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman

A boy wakes up one day and everyday begins on a repeat. Everyday is now August 4th. He meets a girl who happens to be experiencing the same thing.

The wonderful things about anthologies is that there is something for everyone. Anyone can pick up this book and find at least one story they enjoy. So many of these stories are wonderful and I can definitely see myself reading more anthologies in the future.

4 out of 5 stars


Meet The Editor

Stephanie Perkins CREDIT Destinee Blau

Stephanie Perkins has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She’s the author of the international bestsellers Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, as well as Isla and the Happily Ever After. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories is her first anthology. Stephanie and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina.

You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and her website.